👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ Michael Flynn told Robert Mueller that people tied to Trump and a person “connected to” Congress tried to obstruct the Russia investigation. Flynn said he received communications from Trump associates that could have affected the ex-national security adviser’s “willingness to cooperate.” Flynn not only told investigators about these communications, but provided Mueller’s office with a voicemail of one instance. Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in December 2017. (NBC News / CNN / CNBC / Axios) / Politico)
2/ A judge ordered public release of what Flynn said in call to the Russian ambassador. The order calls for a public transcript of the call by the former national security adviser that was a critical avenue in the Mueller probe. (Washington Post)
Democrats want a review of Russian investments in Kentucky. A Russian aluminum company recently came out from under United States sanctions. Now it’s planning to invest $200 million in Kentucky, and maybe more in other states. (New York Times)
Panhandle county that backed Trump among Russian hacking victims. Washington County was one two counties successfully hacked by Russians seeking voter information files. (Politico)
Judge confirms Trump associate gave feds Osama bin Laden’s number. Felix Sater, who became an FBI informant after pleading guilty in a 1998 fraud scheme, later helped drive talks for a potential Trump Tower Moscow. (Politico)
3/ Trump wants his border barrier to be painted black with spikes. He has other ideas, too. Pointed tops. Fewer gates. Resistance to climbing. Trump’s frequently changing design requests have frustrated Homeland Security officials and military engineers. (Washington Post)
4/ Trump’s pick for ICE director: I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes. “I’ve looked at them and I’ve looked at their eyes, Tucker — and I’ve said that is a soon-to-be MS-13 gang member. It’s unequivocal.” (Politico)
5/ Trump delayed auto tariffs while pressing for a deal with Japan and Europe. Trump stepped back from opening another front in a global trade war by delaying tariffs on automobiles until later this year. (New York Times)
6/ Trump’s tariffs are equivalent to one of the largest tax increases in decades. An analysis of data from the Treasury Department ranks the combined $72 billion in revenue from all the president’s tariffs as one of the biggest tax increases since 1993. (CNBC)
7/ Trump reports making at least $434 million in 2018, according to his annual financial disclosure released by the White House. (CNN)
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